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Is it safe to use anonymous HTTP proxies

Hi

I am looking to use anonymous HTTP proxies in different countries to attempt to see how my website behaves when viewed from these countries.

My questions are:
1) Is it safe to use these proxy servers (I won't be entering any personal details) ?
2) Are there any recommendations re good anonymous proxy server lists (that are free to use) ?

Thanks
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dalsandhu
Asked:
dalsandhu
2 Solutions
 
edster9999Commented:
Is it safe ?   Well remember that if someone owns the proxy they can log all data that flows through it.  This would include passwords or ids or messages or (lets hope not) credit cards.

Don't log into your system or use any admin features.

Think of it like sitting in a very public place with people staring over your sholder as you type.  Dont type anything you would not do with lots of random strangers watching you type.

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dalsandhuAuthor Commented:
That's fine for my purposes - I won't be logging into anything or typing a credit card number.
I was wondering if doing this might make my PC more vulnerable to any sort of attack. I don't imagine it would but thought it worth checking...
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Kelvin_KingCommented:
A proxy server is just that, a proxy. Anything that you send will be seen by that server.

In terms of making you more vulnerably, a really malicious proxy server could potentially modify the data that is being sent back to you. If there is no way to verify the validity of the data, then you'll have no choice but to assume that that data is genuine.

In short, there is a risk of making yourself more vulnerable to attacks.

Personally, alot of the free proxy servers look shady (the moment I go in I get bombarded with pop up ads etc.). I don't trust them.

But, if you must use proxy servers for your experiment, I suggest that you surf from within a controlled environment. What I mean by this is surf from within a Virtual Machine. Either VMWare or VirtualPC. That way, if anything does happen, no big deal, your main PC is fine, and there will be almost no differenc ein the results if you were to use a real physical PC. All the hardware is emulated by the virtualization technology.

If it's just a short experiment, you can download the trial versions for about a month or so.

Hope that helps
-Kelvin
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